‘Use of low-qual­ity ma­te­ri­als threat­ens in­vest­ment in the real es­tate sec­tor’

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Mus­cat - A num­ber of build­ing con­trac­tors and ex­perts have warned against the use of de­fec­tive and low-qual­ity ma­te­ri­als which do not con­form to the stan­dard spec­i­fi­ca­tions. Such ma­te­ri­als are rea­son for cracks in build­ings.

They have par­tic­u­larly men­tioned that such ma­te­ri­als were one of the ma­jor fac­tors which are threat­en­ing in­vest­ment in real es­tate. They have urged the com­pe­tent au­thor­i­ties to in­ten­sify drive to mon­i­tor and con­trol lo­cal ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies, as well as keep an eye on var­i­ous build­ing ma­te­ri­als shops where the chances of forgery is more.

They also said that the cus­tomers were con­sid­ered the tar­get of such fraud in build­ing ma­te­ri­als. But they can bring the change by choos­ing only those ma­te­ri­als which com­ply with the stan­dard spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

The Min­istry of Com­merce and In­dus­try has said that such warn­ings have come af­ter the re­ports of cracks in the gov­ern­ment and pri­vate build­ings con­structed only a few years back sur­faced.

Eng Nasir bin Ab­dul­lah al Abadi, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Ea­mar En­gi­neer­ing Con­sul­tancy, said that there were many types of ce­ment with dif­fer­ent com­po­si­tions and are of dif­fer­ent use as re­quired in the con­struc­tion.

Eng Abadi said, “Re­gard­ing build­ings, the most pop­u­lar type is or­di­nary Port­land ce­ment. It is used in con­struc­tion works on the sur­face of the earth, such as in re­in­forced and or­di­nary con­crete work, and white plas­ter works.

“As for sul­fate-re­sis­tant ce­ment and salts, they are used in un­der­ground con­crete work, such as in foun­da­tions and re­tain­ing walls, as well as struc­tural build­ings ex­posed to wa­ter and salts. Re­cently, a new prod­uct

has come in the mar­ket. It is a ce­ment for plas­ter, which should only be used for that pur­pose.”

He added, “As an en­gi­neer­ing con­sult­ing of­fice, we are al­ways keen to use Omani na­tional prod­ucts. We make it a con­di­tion for the con­trac­tors of projects we su­per­vise to use lo­cal ce­ment (Oman or Ray­sut), pro­vided their spec­i­fi­ca­tions are ap­proved by the con­cerned au­thor­i­ties. We make it sure that cor­rect and ap­pro­pri­ate type of ce­ment is used at ev­ery stage of con­struc­tion work.”

He said that the spec­i­fi­ca­tions in force in the Sul­tanate of Oman for con­struc­tion work and the ma­te­ri­als used therein are of Omani, Gulf, Bri­tish and Amer­i­can spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

Eng Abadi said that to con­trol the qual­ity and or­gan­ise this sec

tor, the Min­istry of Com­merce and In­dus­try needed to find a mech­a­nism in co­op­er­a­tion with other gov­ern­ment agen­cies and pro­fes­sional in­sti­tu­tions, such as Oman So­ci­ety of En­gi­neers, to mon­i­tor and ex­am­ine im­ported ce­ments to en­sure their com­pli­ance with Omani spec­i­fi­ca­tions. It also needs a mech­a­nism to mon­i­tor ready-made con­crete plants of the sul­tanate to en­sure their com­mit­ment of us­ing ce­ment ac­cord­ing to Omani stan­dard spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

Salah bin Ab­dul­lah al Khum­bashi, a con­trac­tor for build­ing houses, said con­trol over the ce­ment fac­to­ries should be tight­ened and pe­ri­odic tests in­side the fac­tory as well as at con­struc­tion sites should be con­ducted.

He stressed that tests should be car­ried out for any ce­ment ship­ment en­ter­ing the sul­tanate to know the ra­tio of the ma­te­ri­als in­volved in the ce­ment in­dus­try.

Khum­bashi said, “The dam­age caused by the low-qual­ity ce­ment short­ens the life span of the project, as de­fects sur­face in the build­ing soon af­ter com­ple­tion of the project.”

He said that the cracks which sur­face in the res­i­den­tial build­ings neg­a­tively af­fect the real es­tate sec­tor.

Mubarak bin Ham­dan al Hadhrami, a con­struc­tion con­trac­tor, said, “There are many shops sell­ing low-qual­ity build­ing ma­te­ri­als. This is one of the rea­sons of the cracks ap­pear­ing in the build­ings. It is a huge threat to the lives of the res­i­dents.”

He said that the low qual­ity of con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als was one of the rea­sons which af­fect the econ­omy of the coun­try ad­versely as peo­ple do not fo­cus on real es­tate.

Hadhrami urged consultant­s and con­trac­tors to show sin­cer­ity in do­ing fol­low-up of con­struc­tion work and not to tol­er­ate vi­o­la­tors. They should take ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures to de­ter them, so that they do not re­peat vi­o­la­tions.

Re­cently, a new prod­uct has come in the mar­ket. It is a ce­ment for plas­ter, which should only be used for that pur­pose

Eng Nasir bin Ab­dul­lah al Abadi

Salah bin Ab­dul­lah al Khum­bashi

Eng Nasir bin Ab­dul­lah al Abadi

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